Judge Dredd Writer: My Nightmare Vision Of A State Gone Mad Has Come True (from Sunday Herald)
"It's not funny anymore. I find it hard to write Judge Dredd now, I really do."
...Grant and Wagner would read tabloid newspapers to find social trends such as youth gangs, unemployment, overcrowding and neighbour rage that they exaggerated and placed into the future.
"It's pretty horrific when you realise that what you've written, admittedly an extrapolation of a trend, has got stronger and stronger," said Grant. Going to Glasgow airport and seeing police officers armed Judge Dredd-style confirmed to Grant the state of society. "We are living in a dystopia, and pessimistically I can only see it getting worse. I think the world that we, and I include myself, are bequeathing to our grandchildren, is a horrible, horrible place."
(caveat: I read a lot of Sci-Fi.) I have to agree with Grant that our society resembles more closely the dystopias that early generations imagined than it does the utopias - but that's because there's very few utopias involving humans in Sci-Fi. Indeed, the numbers of dystopias massively outweighs and has always outweighed the utopias in all forms of writing, from Asimov to Borges to Corinthians. The elements where writers have conceived of positive things has been in man's innovations, which our current society excels in - the do-all terminal of Ian Banks' Culture novels, touch-screens, consumer-led location and organisational systems. Yes; the sh*tty bits of Britain have got no better and we're more aware than ever of those crapulences; but we're more aware because, firstly, we focus on the negative more than ever in the media and, secondly, Grant originally sourced those story ideas from the press - indicating they were a problem at that time too!
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